5 Moving Tips for When You're Relocating to Another Country

Moving overseas? Read these 5 tips covering everything from paperwork and vaccinations to packing and storage to prepare yourself for an international move.
Moving abroad is a life-changing experience. You’re about to work or study somewhere completely new, meet new friends, and encounter all sorts of opportunities. It’s super exciting! But let’s face it - it’s also kind of terrifying.

Relocating to another country is not the time to fly by the seat of your trousers. An international move goes beyond the scope of a standard moving house checklist. It involves visas, insurance, vaccinations, bank accounts, and work permits. And that’s before you even consider your packing and storage space needs.

Luckily, here at Stashbee we know a few things about moving house, whether it’s to the suburbs or to a far-flung destination. And if you’ve picked the latter, these moving tips will help you have a stress-free relocation to whichever country you’ve chosen.

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5 Moving House Tips for an International Move

A major concern for people moving abroad is how to get their belongings to their new home. And then there’s the headache of what to do with all their surplus stuff. Let’s be real - who’s going to take a bed with them for a one-year stint in another country?

Don’t panic! Stashbee can help you with storing anything you want to hang on to until you return. We can also help you rent your garage out (or your parking or storage space) and earn extra income while you’re away.

1. Don’t overpack

Packing for an international move should be easy in theory. After all, you’re supposed to only pack the essentials. In practice, narrowing down what constitutes as essential can fall somewhere between tricky and impossible. But you need to get strict with yourself because those excess baggage charges will be brutal if you’re not.

So what kind of things are considered essential? Think about the practical things you use every day. Most of us are reliant (read: completely dependent) on our devices in this digitally connected world. It’s safe to say that phones, laptops, Kindles, and tablets are essential. You’ll also need chargers, cases, portable battery packs, and possibly an external hard drive.

Your destination will probably have a different voltage and sockets than we do in the UK. Buy travel adaptors and converters before you leave and ensure they meet high safety standards.

Another great thing about all your electronics is that they can save you money and space. You can access and store so much information on them, such as guide books, maps, and translators. Even better, you can store photos on them as well to keep all your favourite memories just a click or swipe away.

If you think that shipping things over is the perfect solution, cool your jets! Shipping by air is expensive and sending cargo by sea is slow, which isn’t ideal when planning a short-term move. If you might come back to the UK someday, why not store non-essential items with Stashbee? You can store everything from furniture and heirlooms to bikes and books. They’ll be insured and you’ll know exactly where they are at all times.

Micky Mouse Packing In A Messy Way

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/memecandy-Y4zy02tz3YaBFYKxYL



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2. Make money from your move

If you’re lucky enough to own property in the UK, don’t sell it. You never know what the future holds and you might return one day. In the meantime, you can make a great passive income from it by renting it out as storage space. If you have a basement, loft, lock-up outhouse, garage, or any kind of secure empty space, you can rent it out for storage.

You might be wondering, “But who would rent my space?” The answer is lots of people! Some are just like you – moving abroad and needing somewhere to stash their belongings. Maybe they’re heading to a tropical island and need somewhere to store their winter clothes. Others might be temporarily downsizing due to changes in their circumstances. Whatever the reason, storage space is in demand.

You can even make money from your parking space. People are always looking to rent driveways in places where parking is expensive or hard to come by.

Stashbee lists your space for free, takes care of the booking terms, and automates your monthly payments. Everything is accessible on our online platform so you can make an easy income - even while living in a completely different country.


Giff of Little Girl Talking About Making Money

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3. Get your paperwork together

The not-so-fun side of moving is dealing with the admin (yuck). But if you get paperwork organised early, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and hassle in the long run.

First of all, check your passport has at least six months left before it expires. Then organise any visa and work permits you need. You should also create a moving house checklist and prioritise packing important documents. We’re talking birth certificates, driving licences, marriage certificates, bank details, and insurance documents – all the essentials. Keep them all with you while travelling. It’s a good idea to save digital copies too.

Planning on zipping around your new locale on four wheels? Better get an international driving permit. If you stay longer and become a resident, you’ll need to exchange your licence for a local one.

And last but not least, inform HMRC that you’re leaving if you plan to work abroad for at least one tax year. You might strike it lucky and find out they owe you money for a change! Don’t forget you can also pay voluntary contributions to your National Insurance. We know this might seem unimportant while you’re young, but ‘future you’ will appreciate it if you move back or eventually claim the State Pension. So, uh, definitely keep a note of your NI number with you.

Lady Getting Annoyed That You Haven't Handed In Your Paperwork

Source: https://www.biggerpockets.com/blog/2014-06-28-hate-about-landlording


4. Prioritise health

Depending on where you’re headed, you might need vaccinations. If you’re moving to North America, Northern or Central Europe or Australia, it’s unlikely you’ll need any immunisations. However, if you’re going elsewhere, you might need a variety of vaccines including the following:

  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Yellow fever
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies (especially if you’re working with animals)

It’s best to visit your GP at least two months before you leave. Some of these immunisations need to be given well in advance or involve multiple doses spread over weeks. You might also need medications like antimalarials. A few vaccines, including tetanus and typhoid, are available for free from the NHS.

Research health insurance, whether expatriate or local. Some countries have crazy expensive medical care (we’re looking at you, America). Others are cheap but so basic you’ll want to be air-lifted out to the nearest international standard hospital. Remember to pack your health insurance certificate and your vaccination record.

And, of course, it goes without saying that you should take all the precautions necessary to prevent contracting or spreading COVID - but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Man Saying Healthier



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5. Prepare for moving day

As moving day gets closer, you can prepare by:

  • Learning about your destination
  • Jotting down important contacts like hospitals, immigration offices, and embassies
  • Hitting up expat groups and forums for the lowdown on your new town
  • Making sure you have enough money in the local currency
  • Researching how to open a bank account once you arrive

Unless you’re on the run (in which case, you have bigger issues than reading moving house tips), you’ll need to tell people your new address. It’s a bit pricey, but mail redirection services are available to overseas addresses.

Oh, and you’ll also need to pack your boxes to ensure they’re ready for storage or for an international moving company to pick up. In both cases, use a strong box, cushion fragile items with bubble wrap and label boxes clearly so you can find your items.

Good luck with your move. And remember, we’re always here to help you store your extra stuff - so get in touch if you have any last-minute storage needs!

Moving Van Driving

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Before travelling internationally, make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest government health guidelines and travel advice.


Updated 17th Apr 2023

Written 25th Feb 2021